Musculoskeletal Referral Criteria

Conditions suitable for referral/triage to the musculoskeletal clinic

  • Peripheral joint and soft tissue conditions with NO underlying neurological or inflammatory disease component
  • Sports injury assessment, diagnosis and advice service

Lower limb

Hip – Pain, symptomatic early/moderate degnerative changes, impingement signs, groin pain/sprain, lateral hip pain, bio-mechanical issues

Knee – Pain, swelling, locking, giving way, loss of function, bursitis, early/moderate degenerative joint changes

Foot/ankle – Pain in ankle, heel, foot and toes e.g. plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathies, symptomatic early/moderate degenerative joint disorder, metatarsalgia, mortons neurome

Upper limb

Shoulder – Pain, limitation of movement/loss of function,  such as capsulitis, impingement, early/moderate joint disorder, rotator cuff problems

Elbow – Pain such as tennis/golfer’s elbow, bursitis, early/moderate degenerative joint disease

Hand/wrist – Pain such as De Quervains syndrome, trigger fingers/thumb, early/mild carpal tunnel, early/moderate degenerative joint changes

Typical pathologies treated: Enthesiopathies, tendinopathies, bursitis, hypermobility, early/moderate OA

Interventions in clinic may include: assessment, investigation, and diagnosis; management advice, joint/soft tissue injections, orthotics and onward referral


  • Spinal conditions: Lumbar, thoracic, cervical, sacroiliac and coccyx
  • Referrals for children under 18 years
  • Recent trauma
  • Underlying neurological, inflammatory or systemic conditions
  • Patients already attending secondary care of this condition
  • Two week rule patients

Referral forms

Referral form (308kb)
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